Best of the Fest
It comes but once a year ‒ and for locals this is probably often enough ‒ but the Edinburgh Fringe is well worth visiting. The largest arts festival in the world takes place in Scotland's capital city every August and if you want to survive the Fringe, there are a few insider tips you need to know about.
Bag the early-bird tickets
It can get expensive going to shows every day and night, so take a tip from the locals and bag the early-bird tickets. Most shows will have a limited number of tickets available for their preview nights and you can often pick these up for just a few pounds. Another great way to get free or cheap tickets is to hang around festival venues such as the Underbelly, where there will often be last-minute deals and discounts. This is also one of the best ways to see some more unusual shows that you may not have considered.
Plan your week
It is a good idea to be organised when it comes to the Fringe, especially if you are travelling with children. This means organising your accommodation and cheap family travel insurance well in advance, as hotels are generally fully booked months before festival time in Edinburgh. The planning does not stop once you set foot in the city ‒ organising a rough schedule for your break will ensure you have time to see all the shows and events you want to see, and don't forget to include travel time. Although Edinburgh is fairly compact, you will probably need to rely on buses or trams to get from one venue to the next if you are travelling with small children.
The Royal Mile at festival time is a place where locals fear to tread ‒ yes, it is that busy. Personal safety is a major consideration during the Fringe, as pickpockets often target unwary tourists in busy crowds. Keep your money in a money belt or a secure, zipped interior pocket of your bag and keep your wits about you at all times. It is a good idea to only take as much cash as you need with you when heading out for the day ‒ if your bag or wallet is stolen, you won't be left with no money.
Steer clear of tourist traps
Eating and drinking in Edinburgh is always a delight, with so many family-friendly restaurants, cafes and pubs to choose from. We recommend steering clear of the tourist-trap Royal Mile and surrounding streets when it comes to dining out. There are some amazing budget eateries in the Newington area, whilst the Old Town is home to plenty of cosy pubs for rainy days. MUMS Comfort Food on Forrest Road is the perfect place to head to if your children are fussy eaters ‒ bangers and mash, macaroni cheese and fish and chips mean this place is most definitely child-friendly.